The Decent Homes Standard
Updated: 17 Feb 2018
A decent home is one which meets modern standards of fitness, structure, energy efficiency and facilities.
We are working hard to bring all homes in Northern Ireland up to standard. To do this we are:
- providing effective programmes of improvement and maintenance
- reducing the levels of unfit housing and improving housing conditions in the private sector through grant aid
- promoting good standards of housing design and practice
- improving energy efficiency, promoting energy conservation and helping to alleviate fuel poverty
We keep track of housing conditions through our House Condition Survey. The survey helps us to decide on our strategies and on where to invest money on improving housing conditions. Our 2009 survey shows that housing conditions have continued to improve but there are still many homes that remain unfit and/or don't meet the Decent Homes Standard.
The Decent Homes Standard sets standards for modern homes. We want to bring all of our homes up to those standards. We had hoped to do this through maintenance and improvement schemes by 2010 but with the current level of funding that is not possible. We will continue to seek funding to carry out these improvements.
Owner-occupied and private rented homes also need a lot of work to reduce disrepair and unfitness. We help to improve conditions in those homes through our Private Sector Grants Scheme. We direct grants to the places where they make the biggest difference by setting up a number of urban and rural grants priority areas, group repair schemes and town centre living initiatives.
We help people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. We work with voluntary bodies and other government agencies using advice, education and financial assistance to put better heating, ventilation or insulation into homes that need it.